After news that Google Stadia was closing its internal studios earlier this week, many took that to mean the product was going through its death throes. This is a bad look to say the least, but it just got worse. Stadia has just lost the chance for Terraria to appear on their service. Developer Andrew Spinks voiced his frustration on Twitter, claiming that his Google account has been disabled for over three weeks with no information from Google.
While it’s not uncommon for Google and their subsidiaries to offer no response to their users, this 3-week ghosting operation has cost them more than just a faceless user.
For those who don’t know, Terraria isn’t just some indie title. The game has sold over 30 million copies across all devices and is in the top 20 most owned games on Steam. For a company that claims they want to “help game developers […] deliver games directly to their players,” Google doesn’t seem to be dedicated to their partners.
To many, this isn’t surprising behavior. Unlike passionate game developers (like Relogic), Google exudes a lifeless, profits-before-people sort of insincerity. The Stadia fiasco, like Amazon’s flop of a game called Crucible, just goes to show that the gaming medium is not like any other. Gamers have standards and hold loyalty to developers; a bad game, a bad service, or a shunned dev, and you’re digging your own grave.
I have a hunch that Google is already scrambling to make a PR statement, but the damage has already been done. Stadia has a year to live, max. The Stadia is dead, long live the next project Google passively props up!